According to Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture, the university will be established as the first ‘Scientific Resource Center for Natural Farming’ for the mountainous states of the country and all over the world.
“By setting up demonstration farms in eight panchayats around the campus, the university will create a pilot project focused on natural farming,” said Chandel, who is also the executive director of Khushal Kisan Nature Farming.
“We will build a model on the four principles of natural farming initiated by Padma Shri awardee Subhash Palekar and create a model of natural ecosystem in these nearby panchayats. The production system is already established in chemical, low cost and climate tolerant natural farming. We now need to establish scientific data, “he added.
Chandel, 54, a resident of Jhumarwin in Bilaspur district, is a renowned entomologist with over 25 years of experience in education and research. He has been instrumental in the success of natural farming in Himachal Pradesh for the last four years since the launch of PK3Y. He is now actively involved in formulating policies with the Policy Commission to start natural farming at the national level.
Moreover, according to Chandel, the overall cost of farming has increased due to the use of agro-chemicals including fertilizers and pesticides. In view of all this, there is a need to redefine the purpose of research. Natural agriculture will be my priority. This reduces the dependence of farmers on the market as they can produce natural farm inputs with native cow dung and urine and locally collected plants on the farm.
Chandel further noted that the green revolution in the last century may have been needed at that time to increase production. However, over the decades, biodiversity has emerged as a major challenge. Excessive use of chemicals in agriculture has led to an increase in pests and diseases, traditional crops are becoming extinct, and it is a matter of concern that the market area has been greatly reduced.
Over time, the cultivation of vegetables has increased a lot. But all this led to prosperity, not prosperity. The statistics of anemia in women and stagnant growth in children are a cause for concern, and shed more light on nutritional deficiencies with the kind of agricultural practice we are following. A study by PK3Y’s State Project Implementing Unit (SPIU) showed that natural farming reduced farming costs by 56% and increased net income by 27%. It improves soil health and nourishes production, ”Chandel added.
With input from PTI.
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